DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: 6.03 Capitol Offense.

The Present Moment
By Jaina


The knock on the door was light. Abby had been if not expecting it then definitely hoping for it, however, and had the door opened almost before the knocking had ended.

Abby didn't even try to contain the grin that was bursting across her face. She was happy to see Ziva and there was no doubt about it.


Her enthusiasm was infectious. Ziva's gentle smile grew into a bright grin.

"Hello." She leaned in to kiss Abby lightly on the cheek. Stepping back she held out a small wrapped present.

"Ziva! You didn't have to!" Abby exclaimed as she ushered Ziva into her apartment.

Ziva shed her jacket casually and made her way to the couch as if she belonged with Abby following her. Abby was cradling the wrapped present to her chest as she sank to a seat beside Ziva. Her knees brushed against Ziva's as she tucked them up underneath her.

"I know I didn't have to, but I wanted to." She smiled gently at Abby. "I like giving you things to see the way your eyes light up. I like making you happy."

"Aw, Ziva. You make me happy."

"Mmm." Ziva's response was non-committal, but Abby could see the delight that shown through her usual guarded exterior.

Abby wasn't sure what had brought about the change in Ziva, but since she had returned from Israel, she had been unusually free and open. Whatever had brought it on, Abby was determined to enjoy every moment of it, and she had been.

When Ziva had asked her if she could crash at Abby's apartment while her own was being fumigated, Abby had been surprised. There was no denying it, but she had been pleased too. There was no way that Ziva would have asked her that in the past. She had agreed readily.

The surge of desire that she'd felt the night before when she'd walked out of the small kitchen in her apartment and into the living room to see Ziva seated on her couch in nothing but a slightly large t-shirt had surprised her even more. Just remembering what she'd seen, as she sat beside Ziva was enough to make her blood race.

Abby fiddled with the small bow on top of her present. She had yet to open it, too distracted by Ziva even to indulge in her love of presents.

"You know Tony thought we were sleeping together."

Ziva's rich chuckle sent pleasant shivers down Abby's spine.

"Tony would like nothing more than to imagine that we were truly together. It would be the stuff of dreams for him." She tilted her head contemplatively at Abby. "Although I do not blame him. I think we would look gorgeous together."

Abby choked on air and managed to turn her sudden coughing spell into weak laughter.

"Gorgeous. Right." It wasn't that she disagreed; it was just that she'd never expected Ziva to agree!

"Are you going to open it?" Ziva's voice was soft, but the hesitant emotion in it caught Abby's attention immediately.

"Oh, right, yeah," she stammered. For the second time that day, she tugged at the end of a neatly tied bow and watched as it fell apart in her hands. Abby made quick work of the box, only to find her present hidden inside the frustrating embrace of tissue paper. None too gently pushing aside the nestling material, Abby gasped when she caught sight of it.

Reverently she pulled out the metal studded, leather collar and held it up to inspect it. The leather was soft and suppled in her hands, and she knew without even trying it on that it would fit her perfectly. How Ziva had managed that, she didn't know. It seemed her mysterious Mossad Officer had even more estoric skills than she'd previously suspected.

Two thoughts made her freeze. The first was to wonder when Ziva had become her mysterious Mossad Officer; the second was to realize that this gift was not one that Ziva could have easily obtained to replace her stolen cupcake. This gift had required premedition, or forethought as those who spent less time around murderers tended to call it.

"I love it, Ziva." Abby held it to her chest, in a show of delight. "Thank you." Impulsively she spread her arms and reached out to hug Ziva over the barrier her knees made between them. Off-balance she fell forward, landing awkwardly in Ziva's lap.

Laughing Ziva hugged her back tightly (Yet another change, for the better, as far as Abby was concerned).

"I'm glad you like it, Abby. I thought you might."

Her hand had fallen to Abby's waist, completely unintentionally Abby was sure. She was still suddenly incredibly aware of the way Ziva was touching the thin strip of skin that was bared by her tank top as it rode up on her back. The proximity and her sudden awareness (Not that she hadn't noticed just how glorious Ziva was before, because she wasn't blind, you know, but she hadn't really noticed. Not like this.) of Ziva was making it hard for her to swallow. Her throat was painfully dry and she was more than just distracted. She was incredibly turned on.

"Best of all, it is completely gluten-free, and if McGee steals this, I will not be so nice as I was today."

The warmth of Ziva's breath blowing gently across the shell of her ear made it almost impossible for her to focus on what Ziva was saying.

"It would almost be worth it to see Timmy wearing it." The thought was just mischevious enough to catch her attention.

"Ah, but I would rather see you wearing it."

There was no doubt now, Abby concluded. She couldn't be imagining it. Ziva had to be flirting with her. No, not flirting - torturing her.

It was time to turn the tables. Ziva might be a mysterious Mossad Officer of many skills, but Abby wasn't lacking in skills herself.

"Cool." Abby made quick work of the collar that she'd worn to work that day and discarded it on the couch behind her without a second thought. "Put it on me then?" She twisted on the couch and then backed up so that she was definitely in Ziva's lap. With one hand, she swept her hair off her neck and held it out of the way. With the other, she held out Ziva's present.

Unable to see what Ziva was doing behind her, Abby held her breath and waited. She almost jumped in surprise at the light touch that skimmed across the top of her shoulder to the base of her neck. The featherlight brush of Ziva's lips on the first thin web of her tattoo took her longer to identify. The gentle press of Ziva's body against her back as Ziva leaned forward to bring the collar around her neck was exquisite torture. Ziva's fingers brushed her neck as she fastened it securely, and Abby felt herself melt.

"All finished," Ziva said softly.

Abby looked back over her shoulder, and was completely unsurprised to see Ziva watching her intently, something in her dark eyes that Abby had never seen there before - desire.

Ziva trailed her fingers up Abby's throat and along her jaw, tilting her head just a little bit closer until Ziva could lean down and meet her lips. It was the perfect culmination of a moment far too long in coming. It was hot and needy, building from gentle caresses of lips to nips of teeth and sure motion of tongue.

Abby squirmed around impatiently, twisting to face Ziva while struggling to not break their kiss. She almost managed it, but fell away awkwardly just before she'd managed it.

Ziva looked startled for just a moment before she burst into laughter. At first a bit disgruntled by the sudden loss, Abby quickly dissolved into laughter of her own, only to be startled into abrupt silence a moment later as she caught Ziva's gaze.

It burned no less brightly now than it had moments before. This time Abby eased for slowly and straddled Ziva's hips. Languidly she tilted her head to claim Ziva's lips and let her hands begin to roam across Ziva's body.

Ziva moaned encouragingly and Abby pressed against her more tightly.

She thought, fleetingly, just before she lost herself in Ziva completely, that it was totally worth the loss of a cupcake, even one as wonderful as Ziva had gotten her.

The End

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